Monthly Archives: April 2013

All #RealSlogan tweets

Because I loved them so much, I decided to archive all of the #RealSlogan tweets here on my blog.  Join in if you got ’em!

#RealSlogan: Delta – You’ll pay our exhorbitant fares, get crappy service, and hate travel. We’re the biggest, so just deal with it!

#RealSlogan: Us Airways – We’re America West. I mean US Air. I mean American. SOMEONE PLEASE LOVE ME!

#RealSlogan: Alaska Airlines – You’ll love us! As long as you are in Seattle. Or maybe Portland.

#RealSlogan: Southwest Airlines – STOP MOOING! It’s not really cattle car class. And you’re not paying a baggage fee, so there!

#RealSlogan: Allegiant Air – Would you like some water? $2. Pretzel? $3. Life vest? We only take Visa and Mastercard.

#RealSlogan: Great Lakes Air – Yeah, our timetable’s more like a guideline, give or take a few hours.

#RealSlogan: Northwest Airlines – Yeah, we’re really starting to regret that whole Delta thing now, too.

#RealSlogan: AirTran Airways – Crap, Southwest is on their way over. Quick – somebody go hide the Boeing 717s!

#RealSlogan: Chautauqua Airlines – Hey, we can be your private dancer, too. Just, you know, not that far away from home.

#RealSlogan: British Airways – Gosh darnit, Eugenia – It’s teatime somewhere! God save the Queen and all.

#RealSlogan: Sun Country Air – Yeah. We go places, too. You could come with, if you wanna. Can you chip in for some gas?

#RealSlogan: Virgin America – Yet another airline from Richard Branson. It must have bugged him being a billionaire.

#RealSlogan: Air Canada – Our flight attendants play pickup ice hockey games on layovers. Oh, and we’ve got a sweet dental plan, eh!

#RealSlogan: Ethiad Airlines – We’re all over the globe! Just you can’t get there from here without a 24hr layover in the desert.

#RealSlogan: Japan Airlines – Now with 200% more glow in the dark flight crews! Thank you, Fukushima Daiichi!

#RealSlogan: Ryanair – The Southwest of Europe? Shut up and give me all the money in your wallet.

#RealSlogan: Aer Lingus – Yeah, we think it sounds dirty, too.

#RealSlogan: Qantas – No, sir. There aren’t any koalas or kangaroos onboard. Have another Fosters.

And now a special one from Twitter follower @user47

#RealSlogan Midwest Airlines. Who’d of thought our #SaveTheCookie campaign would do us in? cc @airsnark

Thanks for putting up with me, and thanks for taking part, folks!

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How I knew it was going to be a bad TSA day

I guess I can explain my tweet of last night.  Flying out of PDX, for some reason I didn’t get TSA PreCheck again.  Three weeks in a row.  I made a “Ugh!” type comment, was overheard by a TSA agent, and she proceeded to “bait” me into a fight.  Here’s the exchange:

Me (to TSA ID Checker): Oh jeez…  Three weeks without PreCheck?  You guys are killing me!  (said in a more jovial than not tone).
TSA ID Checker just rolled her eyes.  I made my way into the regular security line.
TSA Overhearing Agent: “You know there’s a line over there?” she said, pointing to the other lane.
Me: “Yes, but that one is wrapped around and this one is shorter, thanks.”
TSA Overhearing Agent: “I’m not arguing with you, sir.  I know you’re angry for not getting PreCheck.”
Me: I rolled my eyes at her obvious bait and asked, “Do you want me to switch lines anyway?”
TSA Overhearing Agent: “I said I’m not going to fight with you, sir.”
Me: “I’m not fighting with you; I simply asked if you wanted me to move to the other line.”
TSA Overhearing Agent: “I understand that you wanted to get PreCheck. It’s not our fault; it’s handled elsewhere.  I’m not going to fight with you, sir.”

At this point, I closed my eyes, counted to ten, and just stayed where I was.  I had a TSA Agent arbitrarily provoking me for whatever douchy reason she had.  I never raised my voice, said anything derogatory, or anything to the woman.  She just wanted me to snap at her for some reason.

Well I wouldn’t take the bait.  But that’s not going to stop me from calling her a giant douchenozzle and blogging about it.

Aah, adventures with the TSA.  Fun, eh?

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Remember, Flyers: NOT EVERYONE WANTS TO SMELL YOU!

It’s somewhat crazy in this day and age that people have to bring this kind of thing up.  But how you smell, and what you do with heavy perfumes, colognes, and perfumed lotions, can effect the people around you.  Especially if you are in a confined space – like, say, an airplane!

I just got off of a 30 minute flight from AVL to ATL, cramped in a tiny CRJ200.  The lady in front of me was wearing perfume.  A LOT of perfume.  Enough that even with the air vent turned on full blast, she was still bringing tears to my eyes.

The poor girl next to her; she had her fan going and was fanning herself.  By the time we were descending, the girl was sneezing almost non-stop.

Fragrance intolerance isn’t some passing fancy; it’s real, though people tend to just shoo it away as if the sufferer is just being “sensitive”.  I remember one trip, a 10 hour flight from MSP to AMS, sitting next to a woman who was bathed in perfume.  Within minutes I was sniffling, and by the time we took off, I was sneezing.  I literally had to stand in the back of the plane for probably 8.5 hours of that 10 hour trip, to get away from her.

People scream and shout if the person next to them on the plane is obese and takes up part of their seat.  I, myself, stood in the back of an MD80 for almost 4 hours on a flight from DFW to LAS, because the man sitting next to me was so large that he took up all of his and nearly all of my seat.  That’s not right.  And it’s not right that I have to suffer the smells of another person throughout a flight.  Sitting next to an obese person may get you a few frequent flyer miles or such, but putting up with overwhelming stench for hours on end will get you nothing.

So be kind when you fly.  You’re sharing a small space with other people.  You wouldn’t bring on a boom-box and blare it during a flight, would you?  So why would you blare your smell?  Forego your perfume or cologne, and all of the other stinky stuff for the flight.  Your fellow passengers will be glad that you did.

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Surf Air – The future of aviation, or just niche?

There’s a good article on up and coming airline Surf Air, and how they want to shake up the airline industry by offering a subscription-type monthly fee for flying, instead of a per-ticket price.  They’d be closer to a SeaPort Airlines and not a regular Southwest or Alaska, and would – at least initially – be flying to just four cities/areas: San Francisco Bay Area, Monterey California, Santa Barbara, and the Los Angeles basin.  All with a basic membership to be paid monthly, the lowest cost (of the 3 options) coming in at $780/month.

One of the attractive offers they have is that Surf Air isn’t relegated to commercial airports, like other commercial airlines.  For example, they could take off from Palo Alto Airport, which is basically in the middle of the San Francisco Bay Area being midway between San Jose and San Francisco – not to mention it’s closest to some of the biggest companies in the world (can you say Google and Facebook?).  Plus, no TSA.  BONUS!

On the other hand, no TSA – so what happens if they actually do land at SFO or SJC?  Offloading pax would have to be screened somehow before getting on to another commercial flight.  I know connecting service isn’t what these folks are offering – rather the “I live in SF and go to LA ever weekend” or “I live in Santa Barbara and work in Downtown LA” type of person.  Also, there probably aren’t rental cars at these small, non-commercial airports – so there’s that.

It’s all an interesting idea, and if I still lived in the Bay Area and had to fly to LA every week, I’d consider it.  What do you think?

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Wondering about AS fallout from the US/AA merger

It’s no secret that I’m personally a big supporter of Alaska Airlines.  Part of that is because they choose to not be part of an alliance, but instead work with a multitude of partners.  Their partnership with Emirates Airlines seems to be paying off; in recent weeks, I’ve seen a number of people flying with Emirates luggage tags.  I know that’s not scientific, but I hadn’t seen these luggage tags outside of the Middle East until now.

Everyone knows about US Airways taking over American Airlines.  But what’s not known is what’s going to happen with the Alaska/American tie-up.  Yes, the new AA/US is going to be part of oneworld (and isn’t US Airways supposed to drop Star Alliance any day now?), and the new AA will have hubs in Phoenix, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Charlotte, and Chicago.  But how is it going to effect Alaska Airline’s relationship with the “new” American?  I, for one, am curious.

And speaking of Alaska partners, they’ve severed their ties to Kenmore Air as of 4/1/2013, and will be severing their ties with Iceland Air on 6/1/2013 – and they say to consider one of their other partners, including American.  So there’s that (though it may not hold water – we’ll see).

I, for one, was actually wanting to fly to Reykjavik one of these days.  Guess it won’t be on Iceland, if I’m cashing in Alaska miles…

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Like GRR needs more expensive flights…

For six months in 2010, I flew into GRR airport (Grand Rapids, Michigan) every week.  The thing that got me?  I was paying a buttload of cash just to fly into there, or the tiny AZO (Kalamazoo) airport to the South.  Never failed; there were about a dozen consultants, though I was coming from the farthest, since I’m West Coast based, and my tickets were always around $1,000 per week.

A few times I flew on Frontier, one of the only LCCs to fly into GRR.  And now, Frontier just announced that they’re getting out of the GRR market.

Sources say that it’s because Southwest is going in there.  AirTran has been in GRR for a while, but apparently now parent Southwest is going to move in as well.  Will it have an effect on the $1,000 airfares?  I doubt it.  Why?  Because it’s not really had an effect in Atlanta.  So why should it have an effect elsewhere?  Higher fares – and fewer flights, on more and more unreliable aircraft (can you say ‘maintenance delay’?) – are here to stay, it seems.

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“Pay As You Weigh” is finally starting – in Samoa

Samoa Air, the small airline that flies small aircraft between places in Samoa, American Samoa, French Polynesia, and other island nations, is the first airline to start a “pay as you weigh” scheme.  Does it make sense?  The airline thinks it does.

When I think of Samoa, I think of people like Dwane “The Rock” Johnson, or the famous Samoan wrestler, Umaga.  These men are not small in the least (Umaga weighed in at 160kilograms or 350pounds); I don’t know what The Rock weighs.  And I typically think of larger people; Samoans aren’t well known for being svelte.

If you check Samoa Air’s flight schedule, you can see their new pricing.  Small hops, like Faleolo to Maota, which is under 20 miles away – but across the Apolima Straight, on a different island, cost Samoan Tala 1 per kilogram that the person weighs (WTS 1 = US$0.46).  So sending a 160 kilogram person on that route would cost WTS 160 or US$73.  Other flights would cost more, such as Maota to Pago Pago on America Samoa, which is about 100 miles away; those flights would be WTS 2.40 (about US$1.10) per kilogram.

The airline says it’s more fair, and that, say, families traveling with small children would make out like bandits, paying significantly less than they are now.  And they maintain that it’ll put Samoans into a healthier lifestyle frame of mind.  Me?  I’m not totally convinced.

What do you think?

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